How to Clean Oven Trays (A Handy Guide!)

How to Clean Oven Trays [Guide]

By on 26th June 2017 (updated: 14th March 2024) in Blog

Dirty Oven Tray

As the UK’s largest oven cleaning franchise, we’ve restored even the dirtiest oven trays back to near new conditions as we know greasy, sticky or burnt oven trays are never a good look and can even be bad for your health. They can be tough to clean, and it may sometimes feel like it is impossible to remove their blackened marks and encrusted food accumulation. And so, you might find the temptation arising to give up and resign yourself to just buying a new set of oven trays. However, with a little tender loving care, your trays can be rescued and even revived to their original sparkling state.

For an overview of everything you need to know about oven cleaning, see our ultimate guide on How to Clean Your Oven.

Related: cleaning your oven with baking soda 

As the largest group of cleaning professionals in the UK, we understand that cleaning can be a tedious task for many.

Because of this, we thought we’d provide you with some oven tray cleaning methods, tips and tricks that we’ve learned throughout our 25 years of oven cleaning experience to show you the easiest way to clean oven trays.

Here are our top tips for removing grease and grime and keeping your oven trays clean all the time.

How to clean an oven baking tray

Step one – Gather cleaning equipment and tray

Put on protective cleaning gloves to ensure your hands are free from any grease, grim or cleaning agents while cleaning your oven baking trays.

Step two – Wipe your baking tray

Wipe the baking tray with a paper towel to clean off any excess grease and dirt.

Step three – Submerge your baking tray

Submerge your baking tray in a sink or tub filled with a cleaning solution of hot water and washing-up liquid.

Step four – Leave tray to soak

Soak the baking tray for at least an hour, allowing the soap to cleanse the tray of oil and grease.

Step five – Scrub your baking tray

Clean the baking tray by scrubbing off all dirt and grime with an abrasive scourer and hot soapy water.

Step six – Rinse

Rinse your oven baking tray thoroughly with hot water.

Step seven – Dishwasher

To ensure your baking tray is as clean as possible, put your tray in the dishwasher for one final clean.

Step eight – Drying

Thoroughly dry your baking tray with a paper towel to remove any leftover dirt or grease.

Related: How to Clean Your Electric or Gas Oven

How to clean dirty non-stick baking trays

  1. Clean your baking tray immediately
  2. Miss the dishwasher
  3. Clean with a paper towel
  4. Avoid scourers and abrasive metal sponges when cleaning
  5. Rinse with boiling water
  6. Submerge and soak in a hot cleaning solution
  7. Clean and scrub
  8. Coat in oil
  9. Dry thoroughly
  10. Repeat

1. Clean your baking tray immediately

Leaving a dirty non-sick pan after use will result in its dirty contents settling onto the surface of the tray. This will make it much harder to clean off and more likely that you’ll damage the non-stick surface during cleaning. To ensure the longevity of your non-stick baking tray, make sure to clean immediately after use.

2. Miss the dishwasher

As tempting as it may be, putting non-stick baking trays in the dishwasher can cause irreversible costly damage. Many non-stick baking tray manufacturers highly recommend hand washing your tray. While this may seem unnecessary, handwashing can be a more efficient, cheaper and a more sustainable way to clean your non-stick baking tray.

3. Clean with a paper towel

Now that you’ve rightly chosen to clean immediately and skip the dishwasher, the next step is to ensure all excess dirt and grime is removed with a paper towel. This saves heaps of time and will help ensure your sink area doesn’t get clogged up with excess dirt and grime that could have gone straight in the bin.

4. Avoid scourers and abrasive metal sponges when cleaning

It may seem tempting to attack your dirty non-stick baking tray with a brand-new sharp metal scourer, but this is a dangerous mistake as it can cause horrendous damage to your baking tray that will render it useless. To maintain the quality of your non-sick baking tray, make sure you use a soft cloth and sponge when scrubbing as this will best protect the coating.

5. Rinse with boiling water

After removing all the excess dirt and grime with a paper towel, rinse your non-stick baking tray with boiling water. This will get rid of a surprising amount of dirt and is an often overlooked step that can save you heaps of time.

6. Submerge and soak in hot soapy liquid

Once rinsed with boiling water, soak your non-stick baking tray in a hot soapy liquid, ensuring it is completely submerged for one hour. If you aren’t able to fully submerge your tray, then soak each side for 30 minutes each.  As we’ve outlined below, Napisan can be one of the best oven tray cleaners for non-stick trays, if you don’t have access to some then try mixing some baking powder with hot water and dishwashing liquid.

7. Clean and scrub

Now that you have wiped, rinsed and soaked your non-stick baking tray, it’s time to clean and scrub. As we mentioned, it’s crucial that you use soft cloths and sponges for this instead of any metal scourers. As you clean be sure to rinse regularly with hot soapy water, this will help you get every last bit of dirt and grime.

8. Coat in oil

While you don’t need to season your non-stick baking tray like a cast iron, coating your tray in oil before and after using can greatly improve its longevity. This is even the case with cared for trays as all non-stick trays experience natural wear and tear damages to their coating.

9. Dry thoroughly

Once coated in oil, ensure your non-stick baking tray is dabbed dry and stored safely. If you’re stacking your trays, we recommend separating them with a tea towel to avoid scratching and surface damage.

10. Repeat these steps if necessary

Continue to repeat these steps as needed to ensure your non stick baking tray is completelty clean.

Burn Oven Tray Cleaning Guide

  • Use a paper towel to wipe away excess grease and loose dirt.
  • Pour boiling water into a sink or tub and add a cup of baking soda. Wait for bubbles to subside.
  • Place your tray in the sink and leave it to soak for an hour to let the solution soften the burn marks.
  • Drain the water and use a cloth or sponge to wipe away the softened crust – following the reaction between the hot water and baking soda, this should break down and come away easily.
  • If your tray wasn’t completely submerged first time around it may need further cleaning. Repeat the process with the tray turned over to focus on the remaining areas.
  • Give your tray a final clean in the sink or use a dishwasher for best results.

How to clean aluminium oven trays

While easier to clean than non-stick baking trays, aluminium oven trays and roasting pans can become excessively stained after prolonged use. This often leads to many people throwing away their perfectly good trays and roasting pans. To help you avoid this here’s a guide on how to clean aluminium oven trays or racks.

  1. Gather the following for cleaning: aluminium tray, rack or roasting pan, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) scourer, paper towels, hydrogen peroxide, dish soap and washing powder.
  2. Wipe your roasting pan or aluminium oven rack or tray with a paper towel to remove excess dirt.
  3. Rinse your oven rack, tray or pan with boiling hot water.
  4. Soak your pan or tray in a mix of hot water and soap.
  5. Clean your racks with a sponge and scourer to remove all excess dirt and grime.
  6. Mix a blend of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, salt and water into a thick paste.
  7. Apply this paste to your tray or pan, rubbing it all over the surface.
  8. Let your oven tray sit with the paste for 2-3 hours.
  9. Clean your tray with a wet metal scourer, ensuring the paste is thoroughly scrubbed across the whole tray.
  10. Rinse your tray with hot water ensuring all the cleaning paste is removed.
  11. Finally, rinse your tray and clean once more with a sponge to ensure any remaining residue is removed.

Best Oven tray cleaner

  1. Wipe your tray with a paper towel to remove dirt
  2. Rinse and clean your baking tray with hot soapy water
  3. Fill your sink with hot water and dishwashing liquid to form a hot soapy solution
  4. Mix in 65g of baking soda and 65g of white vinegar
  5. Submerge and soak your baking tray for 1-2 hours
  6. Scrub your tray with a wet scourer while rinsing with hot water
  7. Thoroughly dry your tray with a paper towel then a tea towel ensuring all residual dirt is removed.

Cleaning oven trays with napisan

To clean oven trays with Napisan, submerge your oven racks or trays in a large tub of hot water, add a full cap of Napisan and let them soak for 1-2 hours. Once soaked, clean your oven racks  or trays with a soft cloth or sponge. Dry thoroughly, ensuring all excess dirt is removed. Napisan is one of the most efficient ways to clean oven trays or racks and it is also envrionementally friendly.

Guide to Maintaining Oven Trays

  • To keep the oven tray clean and avoid burnt-on stains, line your trays with baking paper or foil whenever possible.
  • Always use a paper towel to wipe away excess grease and dirt after each use.
  • Soak pans regularly (ideally after each use), in hot water with washing-up liquid for an hour.
  • Don’t scrub excessively with abrasive tools such as wire scourers as this could cause unnecessary damage, requiring your oven trays to be replaced more frequently.

If you’re looking for the full deep-clean experience, get in contact today. We can help with cooker, oven, hob, microwave and extractor-hood professional deep cleaning.

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owner of ovenu

Rik Hellewell is the Founder & Managing Director of Ovenu and a member of the Approved Franchise Association. He established Ovenu in 1993, cleaning 4,000 ovens and proving his concept over five years before starting the franchise business. Since then he has helped over 200 franchisees achieve their dreams of running successful businesses of their own. Established for over 25 years, the Ovenu concept has proven successful across the UK, New Zealand, Australia and the USA.